I have told you many things about me over the course of this year, but I am not sure I have mentioned my love of science fiction and fantasy.
Reading was the refuge of my youth. I could escape the bullying and teasing of my peers and lose myself in other worlds. I lived in a rural area near a small town that had, for its size, a large and well stocked public library. Every Saturday I would nag my mom until she would drive me into town and while she shopped I would grab a book completely at random from the Sci-Fi section. I would take it upstairs to one of the stacks and wander all the way to the back and sit on the floor with a window at my back and read.
Well, read isn’t really the right word. I would inhabit those books. I wandered the universe, from Barsoom to Lilliput and anywhere else the authors would take me. I learned to read very quickly because you were only allowed to check out seven books a week and if I could read one while my mother was doing her errands that was a way to squeeze an extra book into my weekly allotment.
I owe a great debt to those writers that made my life so much better and the joy that they brought me continues to this very day. Asimov and Le Guin, Clarke and Heinlein. And so many more than I could possibly list. They gave me views of society and relationships and even sexuality that would never otherwise been taught to me in a small Pennsylvania town.
So to all of you who write words that can take me and so many other to a different world from the day to day we all inhabit, I take my hat off to you. You are all amazing.
And when you readers go and visit those worlds.
Bring something back to make this one a bit better.